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Pilot error caused Caribbean Airlines accident in Guyana

Flashback: The Boeing 737-800 Caribbean Airlines jet which overshot the runway and burst through a perimeter fence after arriving at Georgetown’s Cheddi Jagan Airport. No one on board the jet was killed when it crashed in July 2011. flight accident in Guyana Flashback: The Boeing 737-800 Caribbean Airlines jet which overshot the runway and burst through a perimeter fence after arriving at Georgetown’s Cheddi Jagan Airport. No one on board the jet was killed when it crashed in July 2011. flight accident in Guyana
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, October 25, 2014 -An investigation into the Caribbean Airlines crash in Guyana four years ago has found that pilot error was the cause for the plane running off the runway at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).

The probe found that the plane touched down at approximately 4,700 feet of the 7,448 feet long runway or about 1,700  feet beyond the runway touch down zone.  

"The probable cause of the accident was that the aircract touched down approximately 4,700 feet beyond the runway threshold, some 2,700 feet from the end of the runway, as a result of the Captain maintaining excess power during the flare and upon touching down, failure to utilize the aircraft's deceleration capability resulted in the aircraft overrunning the remaining runway and fracturing the fuselage," according to synopsis of the report released to the media.

"The Flight Crew's indecision as to the execution of a go-around, failure to execute a go-around after the aircraft floated some distance down the runway and their diminished situational awareness contributed to the accident," the document added.

The report finds that at the time of the incident occurred on July 30, 2011, the aircraft had no mechanical defects and the wet surface of the runway did not affect the brakes of the aircraft.

Investigators said that the crew was unable to stop the aircraft on the remaining runway surface. It exited at the end of the runway, breaking through a fence and then resting on a 20-feet high earth embankment.  The aircraft broke in two sections.

Assisted by the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority and the United States National Transportation and Safety Board,  Boeing Company, Caribbean Airlines and the Caribbean Aviation Safety and Security Oversight System, the investigators say that the probable cause of the accident was that the captain maintained excess power during the flare and upon touching down, did not utilize the aircraft’s full deceleration capability.

Investigator-in-Charge at the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Paula Mc Adam says the flight recorder retrieved from the Boeing 737 aircraft shows that there was little coordination between the pilot and the co-pilot. "The statement that there was not effective coordination comes from the cockpit voice recorder and during the landing, at the point of the landing there was not significant interaction between the Pilot and the First Officer and it showed to us that there was a lack of awareness in the cockpit of where the aircraft was so we came to the conclusion that there was not effective coordination," she said.

Ms Mc Adam says tests conducted on the pilot and co-pilot at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation did not reveal any traces of alcohol or narcotics. She added that the pilots were very experienced flying to Guyana.

Caribbean Airlines said it has reviewed the final report of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority’s (GCAA) investigation into the Flight BW 523 aircraft touchdown incident at Cheddi Jagan International Airport.

“The incident investigation has been thorough and CAL has worked with the GCAA to uncover all the facts as they related to the incident. The airline appreciated the opportunity granted by the GCAA to make submissions during its investigation and respects its final conclusions.

The findings of the report reiterated that the Captain was a veteran pilot and the First Officer was experienced. CAL is committed to working with our flight crew to ensure they meet the required regulatory standards. The Captain of flight BW523 remains employed by CAL as a first officer. The First Officer of the flight left employment at CAL in 2012. All regulatory requirements vis-à-vis the crew were met following the event.”

CAL said it examined the findings of the report and has already incorporated all of the recommendations.

“Based on the report’s findings, CAL has re-emphasised the airline’s commitment to working with our flight crew to ensure their effectiveness. Additional training was also covered during initial and recurrent training for CAL’s pilots.”

No one was killed but a passenger’s leg was seriously injured and eventually it amputated.

A number of the 157 passengers have filed lawsuits against Caribbean Airlines in Guyana and the United States.

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